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United States Naval Academy
United States Naval Academy Review
Probably the most interesting and important site in Annapolis, the Naval Academy occupies 328 waterfront acres along the Severn River and abuts downtown. Men and women enter the USNA, established in 1845 on the site of a U.S. Army fort, from every part of the United States and foreign countries to undergo rigorous study in subjects that include literature, navigation, and nuclear engineering. The centerpiece of the campus is the bright copper-clad dome of the interdenominational U.S. Naval Academy Chapel. Beneath it lies the crypt of the Revolutionary War naval hero John Paul Jones, who, in a historic naval battle with a British ship, uttered the inspirational words, "I have not yet begun to fight!"
On the grounds, midshipmen (the term used for women as well as men) go to classes, conduct military drills, and practice or compete in intercollegiate and intramural sports. Bancroft Hall is one of the largest dormitories in the world—it houses the entire 4,000-member Brigade of Midshipmen. You can't see how shipshape the middies' quarters are, but you can go inside Bancroft and see a sample room and the glorious Memorial Hall, a tribute to Academy grads who died in military operations. In front of Bancroft is the Statue of Tecumseh, a bronze replica of the USS Delaware's wooden figurehead, "Tamanend," which midshipman decorate for athletics events. If you're here at noon on weekdays in fair weather, watch the midshipmen form up outside Bancroft Hall and parade to lunch accompanied by the Drum and Bugle Corps.
USNA Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center. An exhibit, "The Quarter Deck," will introduce you to the Academy's mission. So will the walking tours of the Naval Academy that leave from the center. Note that all visitors 16 and older must have a government-issued photo ID to be admitted through the academy's gates. Park on the street or in Annapolis public parking and walk through Gate 1—only cars on official Department of Defense business are allowed on the campus. 52 King George St., 21402-1318. 410/293–8687. www.navyonline.com.
U.S. Naval Academy Museum. Displays of model ships and memorabilia from naval heroes and fighting vessels tell the story of the U.S. Navy. The Rogers Ship Model Collection has 108 models of sailing ships built for the British Admiralty. 118 Maryland Ave., 21402-5034. 410/293–2108. Free. Mon.–Sat. 9–5, Sun. 11–5.
- Address: Annapolis, MD 21402 | Map It
- Cost: Grounds tour $10
- Hours: USNA Armel-Leftwich Visitor Center: Mar.–Dec., daily 9–5; Jan. and Feb., daily 9–4, Sat. Sun. 9–5. Guided walking tours generally leave Mon.–Sat. 10–3 usually on the hr; call ahead to confirm and for Jan. and Feb. tour times.
- Website: www.navyonline.com
- Location: Annapolis
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